Deuce (Rory Gallagher album)

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Studio album by Rory Gallagher
Released 28 November 1971
Recorded 1971 at Tangerine Studios, London
Length 51:41
Label Polydor Records (original U.K. release)
Atco Records (original U.S. release)
Buddah Records (1999 reissue)
Producer Rory Gallagher
Rory Gallagher chronology
Rory Gallagher
Live In Europe
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]
Amazon 5/5 stars [2]
Pop Matters 7/10 stars [3]
Rolling Stone (not rated)[4]

Deuce is the second solo album by Rory Gallagher, released in 1971. In contrast with his previous album, Rory Gallagher, where Gallagher tried for a precise, organised sound, Deuce was his first of many attempts to capture the energy of a live performance in the studio.[5]


Deuce opens with the Celtic, jazz-tinged, blues style of "I'm Not Awake Yet", which captures folk elements as well as jazz and Celtic style. It is then followed by the classic Gallagher guitar riff of "Used to Be", the raw energetic, crystal vocal is ably complimented by his rhythm section of Wilgar Campbell on drums and Gerry McAvoy on bass. Switching to twelve-stringed guitar with rack-mounted harmonica, "Don't Know Where I'm Going" serves as a homage to the 'troubadour' blues from Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee, through to Bob Dylan. The opening, up-tempo open-chorded tuning on "Maybe I Will" deceives the light and shade of pace to follow, as the rhythmic track winds through Gallagher's wide-ranging guitar playing. "Whole Lot of People", with its intricate open-tuned guitar picking, introduces the maestro of the slide guitar. The sharpness of this playing masks the lyrics of the politics of the then emerging and troubled 'new' Ireland. This theme is continued through into "In Your Town". This tells a tale of jailbreak, the hidden sentiment being the much resented, internment (without trial) that had just come into force a month earlier in Northern Ireland. Much loved by the fans, it became an essential live standard that would often close Rory's live shows. The theme of the track would later inspire Thin Lizzy's "Jailbreak". "Should've Learnt My Lesson" demonstrates Rory's lyrical command of the blues song, with Elvis Presley to Muddy Waters, very much to the fore. Ironically, one month following this release, Waters, his hero endorsing the world-wide musical esteem Gallagher was now held in. With its abstract start, "There's A Light" tells of Gallagher's contentment in his own skin and surroundings at that time. Employing and enjoying his range of jazz influences, Gallagher scat sings his lyrics, while harmonizing with his guitar and subtly knocks off harmonic notes on his instrument. Back on the acoustic, Rory solos through "Out Of My Mind", a country-blues track-and is at his picking finger best. Gallagher had immense respect for musicians such as Doc Watson (who incidentally, played a US-made Gallagher guitar) and for many of the Nashville pickers. The album's crescendo, "Crest of a Wave" is a two tempo-ed track which gives more expansion to Rory's guitar work from the swirling 'Leslie' sound through to the slide guitar tour-de-force, intertwining with Campbell's percussion patterns and McAvoy's solid bass.


Deuce was recorded at Tangerine Studios in Dalston with Gerry McAvoy on bass guitar and Wilgar Campbell on drums and percussion. The engineer was Robin Sylvester and it was produced by Rory Gallagher. In order to capture the feeling of a live performance that Gallagher wanted, he would often record immediately before or after live performances while keeping production at a minimum. It was released on POLYDOR SUPER 2383 076 around 1971.[5] Deuce was remastered from the original master tapes in 1997 by Colin Fairly at Tony Arnold's Courthouse Facilities in Dorset. The remastered album was released in 2000 with the bonus track "Persuasion".


At the time of release Deuce was not a huge success. Rolling Stone damned it with faint praise such as: "All of which is not to say that it isn't a good album. If it isn't a world beater, it isn't all that bad either" and described the supporting musicians as "the highly pedestrian, almost pedantic bass and drum thumpings of two hacks named McAvoy and Campbell".[4] However, over the years the album has remained popular with Gallagher's fans which include many legendary guitarists. For example, Johnny Marr of The Smiths said in an interview: "There was one day when I was playing along with the Deuce album which was a complete turning point for me as a guitar player".[6] And critic Dave Thompson says the album "peaks with the closing, broiling 'Crest of a Wave'. With bass set on stun, the drums a turbulent wall of sound, and Gallagher's guitar a sonic switchblade, it's a masterpiece of aggressive dynamics, the sound of a band so close to its peak that you can almost touch the electricity."[7] In an interview shortly after the release of the album Gallagher said "I was looking for a raw earthy sound on Deuce and I was fairly pleased with it. Deuce made the top twenty for one week, I guess I was a little disappointed but not depressed, after all 17,000 albums is not bad."[8]

Track listing[edit]

Side one

  1. "Used to Be" - 5:06
  2. "I'm Not Awake Yet" – 5:24
  3. "Don't Know Where I'm Going" – 2:45
  4. "Maybe I Will" – 4:13
  5. "Whole Lot of People" – 4:54

Side two

  1. "In Your Town" – 5:43
  2. "Should've Learnt My Lesson" – 3:34
  3. "There's a Light" – 5:59
  4. "Out of My Mind" – 3:00
  5. "Crest of a Wave" – 5:52

CD Track List (1998 edition)[edit]

  1. "I'm Not Awake Yet" – 5:24
  2. "Used to Be" - 5:06
  3. "Don't Know Where I'm Going" – 2:45
  4. "Maybe I Will" – 4:13
  5. "Whole Lot of People" – 4:54
  6. "In Your Town" – 5:43
  7. "Should've Learnt My Lesson" – 3:34
  8. "There's a Light" – 5:59
  9. "Out of My Mind" – 3:00
  10. "Crest of a Wave" – 5:52

CD bonus track

  1. "Persuasion" – 4:42

For 2012 CD edition, track list was reverted to 1971 configuration.[9][10]



  1. ^ Thompson, Dave. "Deuce - Rory Gallagher : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Amazon review
  3. ^ Browning, Rob. "Rory Gallagher: Rory Gallagher / Deuce / Live! in Europe / Blueprint < PopMatters". Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Niester, Alan (11 May 1972). "Rory Gallagher: Deuce : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Archived from the original on 1 October 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Shu Tomioka, Deuce at Rory Gallagher's official website
  6. ^ Johnny Marr, Guitar Magazine interview, January 1997
  7. ^ Thompson, Dave. "Rory Gallagher Deuce". Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  8. ^ Connaughton, Marcus (2012). Rory Gallagher His Life and Times. The Collins Press. p. 902. ISBN 9781848891531. 
  9. ^
  10. ^

External links[edit]